Leading Economists Agree, the Stimulus Worked!
February 17, 2010
The New York Times reports that a year after the Stimulus passed, the policies it enacted have saved or created 1.6 to 2 million jobs.
Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative.
Despite some bureaucratic failings and stumbles on the way, by and large the stimulus package has done what it was intended to, stave off the next Great Depression.
The reasons for the stimulus’s middling popularity aren’t a mystery. The unemployment rate remains near 10 percent, and many families are struggling. Saying that things could have been even worse doesn’t exactly inspire. Liberals don’t like the stimulus because they wish it were bigger. Republicans don’t like it because it’s a Democratic program. The Obama administration hurt the bill’s popularity by making too rosy an economic forecast upon taking office.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Republicans and conservative pundits will continue to go on Fox News and say that the stimulus failed as if its common knowledge and no longer up for debate. This is an easy and obvious line for them since it’s an easy sell and requires little in the way of hard data.
Meanwhile, Democrats and liberal commentators have been busy calling out Republicans for voting against the stimulus while claiming responsibility for its positive effects and handing out checks to their local areas that are a result of stimulus funding.